Michael Tilson Thomas: I don't know of a single situation where there is an educational program that is bringing classical music to young people that is not successful. If you bring it to young people, they get it. They have no blocks about imagining that it's high brow, or low brow, or anything else. It's just -- it just gets to them directly. And as I'm always saying, "The only thing you need to be in order to appreciate and love classical music, is you need to be alive and you need to have the chance to hear it." Because it is the music that most resembles the way our thought really is. Pop music, as much as I love pop music, is mostly about one feeling, one emotion, one groove, whatever, at a time and it sort of, that's nice. It kind of is in that place and we all love to experience it and taste that and it kind of can go on in the background. It kind of creates a general aura in which we can all kind of, you know, settle back and do what we're going to do. Classical music is not like that. Classic music is, as our thought is, always changing into something else. So when I ask you, "Are you happy right now?" If you honestly answer me, you're going to say, "Yeah, I'm happy but I'm a little bit concerned that such-in-such didn't happen just as I thought it would and I'm a little bit apprehensive about, I'm actually a little bit angry that I didn't see such-in-such before." It's a very complex field of emotions and it's constantly refocusing itself. Well, that's exactly what classical music is. It's very much like our actual minds and that's why it teaches us so much about ourselves.
In this excerpt from the podcast, Tilson Thomas discusses the vitality of classical music, and the importance of arts education in maintaining its vibrancy. [1:35]